Virtual Reality · Jul 10, 2023
Meta Quest 2 vs. Meta Quest Pro: Which VR Headset Is Right for You?
The fitness industry has taken a leap into the world of virtual reality as the Meta Quest headset becomes the newest piece of must-have gym equipment. Combining the immersive power of virtual reality with the physical intensity of exercise, it’s no surprise that virtual fitness has become a revolutionary new trend for everyone from fitness enthusiasts to those who’ve never stepped foot in a gym. And with virtual fitness, you never have to. With a VR headset firmly strapped on, you can transport yourself to stunning locations for a workout or bring a trainer right into your own home. Add in immersive visual and auditory effects and your workout feels less like a workout and more like an exhilarating adventure.
And it turns out that for many people, this dynamic and engaging workout—that you can experience right from the comfort of your own home—is a lot more fun than the gym, and easier to stick to. It only requires one piece of equipment to get started: the VR headset.
There are a variety of VR headsets out on the market today, but two of the most popular options include the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro. If you’re ready to join the world of virtual reality but are unsure which headset to choose, keep reading because this guide will help you compare the two to make your decision easier.
Meta Quest 2 vs. Meta Quest Pro
Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro are both VR headsets offered by Meta. The Meta Quest Pro is Meta’s most advanced VR headset, launching in 2022 after Meta Quest 2’s launch in 2020. So when it comes to choosing the headset with the most bells and whistles, the option is hands-down the Meta Quest Pro. But with its more affordable price point, the Meta Quest 2 has become a top choice for both casual users and VR enthusiasts, propelling the adoption of virtual reality technology to new heights.
So is the price point of the Meta Quest Pro worth it? It all depends on what you’re looking for and what kind of VR experience you want to have. Join us as we break down the differences between the two so you can better understand which one might be right for you.
We mentioned that the Meta Quest Pro is the more advanced and, therefore, more expensive headset option of the two. But how much is it exactly? As of June 2023, the Meta Quest 2 headset costs $299.99 for 128GB and $349.99 for 256GB while the Meta Quest Pro costs $999.99 for 256GB of storage.
Although Meta has significantly dropped the price of the Meta Quest Pro since its launch, the headset is still more than double the price of the Meta Quest 2. So if cost is the biggest factor in your decision, the Meta Quest 2 headset wins out. But when it comes to the headset with the most value, that depends on what you’re looking for. There are a lot of upgrades to the Meta Quest Pro that could make the higher price point worth it. So let’s dive into further differences between the two.
The takeaway: The Meta Quest 2 is the cheaper option of the two, coming in at $299.99 for 128GB and $349.99 for 256GB of storage while the Meta Quest Pro is more expensive at $999.99. And Meta is coming out with a brand-new Meta Quest 3 headset in the fall that will start at $499.99.
Both the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro feature a clean and uncluttered appearance, with minimal buttons and controls. The Meta Quest 2 VR headset features a sleek and minimalist all-white design while the Meta Quest Pro has a modern, all-black finish.
The visor, which houses the lenses and display, dominates the front of the Meta Quest 2. The headset has an adjustable elastic strap system, including a strap over the top of your head that securely holds it in place. And the straps can be easily adjusted to accommodate different head sizes and preferences. Although it’s designed with comfort in mind, users often complain that the Meta Quest 2 is front-heavy with the battery, lenses, and display all featured on the front of the device.
Unlike the Meta Quest 2, the Meta Quest Pro houses the lenses and display in the front and the battery in the back, allowing for better counterbalance. The Meta Quest Pro also has adjustable straps but they feature foam padding to provide comfort and customization for the user. So even though the Meta Quest Pro weighs more than the Meta Quest 2, users say that the weight distribution and updated design provide a much more comfortable experience, especially if you plan on using the VR headset for several hours at a time.
The lenses in the Meta Quest Pro are also adjustable, offering a more comfortable visual experience that you can customize to suit your vision preferences. Whereas, the Quest 2 only has three pre-set lens position options and you can’t shift the distance between the lens at all.
Another major design difference between the two is the distance between your eyes and the headset. With the Meta Quest 2, the lenses are firmly positioned with a seal around your eyes to provide an immersive field of view, allowing you to fully engage with the virtual environment. The Meta Quest Pro, on the other hand, leaves a gap that allows you to see the real world at all times. This gives Meta Quest Pro an advantage when it comes to mixed reality experiences, but some say that it’s distracting if you’re trying to fully immerse yourself in the world of virtual reality. That being said, Meta Quest Pro does include snap-on covers that you can attach to the sides of your headset for less real-world integration. But you can still view the floor and light shining in from below, which some find distracting but others find helpful for safely navigating the real world whilst immersing yourself in virtual reality.
This gap also helps if you plan on using your VR headset for fitness games like Litesport which will get you sweating. All that sweat and hard work create perspiration that’s more likely to cloud up your screen in the sealed-up headset of the Meta Quest 2 versus the more open-air design of the Meta Quest Pro.
The takeaway: Both headsets prioritize comfort and functionality. But the weight-balancing and padded design of the Meta Quest Pro makes it the better option for those looking to use a VR headset for extended periods without causing excessive strain on the neck or head. And the gap between the headset and your face in the Pro allows for a safer and more successful mixed-reality experience.
Moving on to the controllers, both Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro offer wireless controllers in addition to improved hand-tracking capabilities. Although they each feature a slightly different design—with the Meta Quest 2 controllers sporting a ring over the top that’s absent from Meta Quest Pro—both controllers are ergonomic and comfortable to use.
The major difference between the two is that the Meta Quest Pro controllers have three built-in cameras and a Snapdragon mobile processor per controller. This means that you have a 360-degree range of motion in your virtual space, so you’ll never lose sight of your controllers. This varies from Meta Quest 2, whose controllers don’t feature any built-in cameras. Instead, the cameras in the Meta Quest 2 headset track the location of the controllers, which means they can easily fall out of the frame if not in view.
Not only does Meta Quest Pro offer better hand tracking with the built-in cameras but the updated design includes TruTouch haptic feedback and precision pinch motion. This creates a more intuitive VR feel so the controllers feel like a natural extension of your hands. As for power, the Meta Quest Pro controllers have their own charging dock with built-in rechargeable batteries. The Meta Quest 2 controllers use standard double A batteries that you’ll need to replace when they run out of juice.
The takeaway: The Meta Quest Pro offers better hand-tracking and a 360-degree range of motion with built-in cameras in the hand controllers. The Meta Quest 2, on the other hand, uses cameras in the headset to monitor controller movement, so you’ll need to keep your hands in view of the headset cameras for the best experience.
Next, let's talk about the display. The Meta Quest 2 features a high-resolution LCD display with 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, providing sharp and immersive visuals. But the Meta Quest Pro takes the display to the next level using innovative patented pancake lens and optics technology. Compared to the Meta Quest 2, the Meta Quest Pro has 37% higher pixel density, 75% more contrast, 25% more full-field visual sharpness, 50% improvement in the peripheral region, 1.3x larger color gamut, and 10% higher overall system resolution. In other words, the Meta Quest Pro provides a richer, more vibrant, and more immersive visual experience.
However, if you’re not planning on using your VR headset for work or extended gameplay, this sharper visual display might be more than you need. Reviews say that Meta Quest 2’s display is great for most games and virtual fitness workouts. But if you’re looking for higher visual quality, the Meta Quest Pro is the best choice.
The takeaway: The Meta Quest Pro is the more advanced headset, which means it comes with a much better display quality. It has a higher resolution with 37% more pixels, 75% more color vibrancy and contrast, 25% more full-field visual sharpness, and more.
Both headsets operate on the same all-in-one platform, giving you access to a large selection of apps and content, including engaging workout apps like Litesport that contribute to the growing popularity of virtual fitness. Additionally, neither device requires a PC or external sensors to function. Instead, Meta integrates all necessary sensors and tracking technology into the headsets themselves, eliminating the need for an external setup. This enhances the portability and convenience of Meta’s VR experience.
The Meta Quest 2, with its powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, delivers smooth performance and supports a wide range of VR experiences and games. But like all areas of this comparison, the Meta Quest Pro offers enhanced performance upgrades that justify the higher price point. The more advanced Qualcomm Snapdragon XR+ processor in the Meta Quest Pro allows for 50% faster processing speed, so content loads much faster than the Meta Quest 2 and it can manage a much larger workload.
As for battery life, the Meta Quest 2 has better reviews. Users indicate that the average battery life of the Meta Quest 2 is two to three hours compared to one and a half to two hours for the Meta Quest Pro. All that extra technology built into the Meta Quest Pro means that the battery doesn’t last as long. But there is a battery add-on you can buy if longer battery life is important to you.
The takeaway: Although some games and VR content are only accessible via Meta Quest Pro, the all-in-one Meta platform means that you can access most of the same content across both headsets. As for performance, both headsets feature powerful Snapdragon processors that can handle advanced gaming and graphics. But the Quest Pro has the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon XR+ processor with improved performance and graphic capabilities.
Both headsets offer hand-tracking, passthrough, and other impressive VR features. But given the higher price point, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Meta Quest Pro has the same features (plus some additional ones) as the Meta Quest 2, only better. Here are a few key differences you’ll notice between the two headsets when it comes to some of the more talked-about features:
This is a technology that allows you to interact with virtual environments using your own hands. It’s possible through advanced sensors in the headset that capture your movement and position in real time. Both Meta Quest 2 and Pro offer hand-tracking capabilities, but the Pro provides a better experience given the additional cameras in the controllers that allow for a 360-degree range of motion.
Face & Eye Tracking
Meta Quest Pro not only tracks your hands but also your eyes and your face so your VR avatar’s expressions can match yours. This is possible due to additional cameras in the Meta Quest Pro headset. While the Meta Quest 2 only has four cameras for controller and headset tracking, the Meta Quest Pro has 16 cameras. Five cameras for room scale, three cameras per controller for hand-tracking, two for face tracking, and three for eye tracking. But if you’re not using a VR headset for work or hanging out with friends, all these extra cameras might be overkill.
Passthrough allows you to step outside your view of virtual reality to see a real-time view of your surroundings—without ever taking off your headset. Both offer this feature, but the Meta Quest Pro is designed for this mixed-reality experience. The Pro has enhanced color visuals thanks to a high-resolution, full-color passthrough camera and easier access to view the real world around you thanks to the updated headset design. It’s so good at mixed reality that users describe feeling comfortable walking around their homes with their VR headsets on!
But doing the same with Meta Quest 2 might not be such a great idea. Meta Quest 2 also has passthrough mode but it’s a lower-resolution, grayscale view that’s really only designed to help prevent you from bumping into anything in your room.
The takeaway: Both headsets offer advanced hand-tracking and passthrough. But the Pro turns it up a notch with a 360-degree hand-tracking range of motion and a full-color passthrough mode that enables you to see a live feed of the real world around you in full color. The Pro also has additional cameras for face and eye tracking that make work calls and hang-outs with friends more engaging in VR.
Both the Meta Quest 2 and Pro headsets provide a built-in audio solution that delivers immersive and spatial sound for a rich audio experience. Spatial audio enables users to perceive sounds coming from different directions and distances, adding realism and depth to the VR experience. The headsets also feature integrated speakers positioned near the ears, allowing for audio projection without the need for extra headphones. But if you do want to use external headphones, the Meta Quest 2 provides a standard 3.5mm audio jack and the Meta Quest Pro provides dual 3.5mm jacks to connect your preferred audio device for a more personalized audio experience.
Both headsets also include built-in microphones that enable users to communicate with others in virtual reality. These microphones capture your voice and transmit it to other users in multiplayer experiences or virtual social platforms, facilitating communication and collaboration.
Overall, the audio capabilities of the Meta Quest 2 are similar to the Meta Quest Pro. Both provide a well-rounded audio experience, combining built-in speakers for convenience and spatial audio immersion along with the flexibility to use external audio devices. The two major audio upgrades of the Meta Quest Pro are a more dynamic bass extension that can deliver over a half-octave deeper bass tones and a crystal clear midrange that enhances the sound for more natural conversations, better gameplay, and improved music quality.
The takeaway: Both the Meta Quest 2 and Pro headsets offer immersive and spatial audio for a realistic and immersive VR experience. The Pro also offers a more dynamic bass extension and a clearer midrange that enhances your sound experience.
Which VR Headset Is Best for You?
All in all, both the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro are excellent options for beginning (or continuing) your venture into virtual reality. If you value enhanced comfort, performance, display, and the latest features then the Meta Quest Pro is the obvious choice. But if you’re just looking to get started in VR and don’t want to drop $1,000 on a headset, then the Meta Quest 2 will still offer an amazing VR experience. Either way, you can't go wrong with either headset, and the decision ultimately comes down to personal preference.
And coming this fall, your options for a Meta headset will expand even further with the release of the Meta Quest 3. According to Meta, the brand-new Quest 3 headset will offer a higher resolution, stronger performance, breakthrough technology, and a slimmer, more comfortable headset design. So make your choice now or wait till the Quest 3 launches. Either way, the VR universe is expanding with more options than ever before—so now’s the time to join in on the fun!
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